November 2012 Staff Reviews & More

Constant Contact
In This Issue:
More Staff Favorites
Kids Holiday Books
Staff Reviews
Readings
New Humor Books
More Staff Faves
Our staff enjoyed these books, too.


Flight Behavior
by Barbara Kingsolver


The Song of Achilles
by Madeline Miller


The Absolutist
by John Boyle
Children's Holiday Books Are Here!
Come browse our great selection of holiday books for kids, including:


Santa Is Coming to Portland
by Steve Smallman


A Bad Kitty Christmas
by Nick Bruel


Magic Tree House #44: A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time
by Mary Pop Osborne 
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November 2012: Staff Reviews & More

Greetings!

Here are three new staff reviews for you! We also have some great events coming up. Plus, check out what's new in Poetry.   
Staff Reviews
Our staff brings you three new favorites:

Iron Curtain

by Anne Applebaum

reviewed by: Jeff
My reading choices often focus on 20th century history and World War Two. A new release that fits into both categories is Iron Curtain. Americans these days know almost nothing about conditions in post-war Europe and the early origins of the Cold War. Daily life was often violent and chaotic in Eastern Europe, most of which had been occupied by the Soviet army under terms of the Yalta agreement. Josef Stalin immediately set to work crushing any notion of free elections and establishing communist governments and brutally efficient security agencies. Fear of communism here in the US has been justified and derided by politicians, journalists, and historians during the past 50 years. What Iron Curtain shows, in painful detail, is how the Soviets relied on force, fear, and a large number of willing collaborators to create and control satellite states. It's a story that needs to be known widely, and never forgotten.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

by Maria Semple

reviewed by: Mary
When Bobby, Will and I all love a novel, you know something unusual is going on.In this case it's a funny, edgy, good-hearted send-up of all things Seattle; in particular a badly-located, upper-crust private school.But behind all the cleverness is a really touching, often hilarious story about an off-kilter but loving family.Add a little adventure, a little infidelity, the gradual revealing of the secrets of the back-story, and you have a very satisfying read. I became quite attached to this family of three and I'm hoping for a sequel.

Far from the Tree

by Andrew Solomon

reviewed by: Matt
Solomon goes deep. In Far from the Tree he pursues understanding of how we conceptualize and perceive differences--particularly those labeled disabilities--between us. Then he gives us ten examples complete with fascinating stories of individuals who suffer and/or celebrate illness/identity. As with Noonday Demon, the prodigious research Solomon has done is supplemented sweetly by his own life; the bookmarks on these ten case studies are Solomon's own experience as a son and as a father. No reader will leave this book without having learned a ton.
Readings
Our 2012 Reading Series Concludes With:

Paul Gerald
Peaceful Places: Portland
Monday, November 19, 7pm
Paul Gerald is the man who gave us 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Portland and Breakfast in Bridgetown. This time, Gerald is off in search of peace and quiet, and he invites the reader along to quiet tables, parks and gardens, enchanting walks, outdoor habitats, and other retreats. Seeking out the places or times when the crowds will be elsewhere, Gerald will give you the essence of what each place is about-what makes it peaceful or inviting. But he does not stint on also giving you all the detailed info you need to find the place and get there at the crowd-free time. The theme that carries throughout the book is a simple one: Portland is a great city, but it's still a city, and sometimes folks just need a break. Annie Bloom's Books is proud to be included among Gerald's peaceful places.
New Humor Books 
The Onion Book of Known Knowledge
by The Onion
Replete with an astonishing assemblage of facts, illustrations, maps, charts, threats, blood, and additional fees to edify even the most simple-minded book-buyer, The Onion Book of Known Knowledge is packed with valuable information--such as the life stages of an Aunt; places to kill one's self in Utica, New York; and the dimensions of a female bucket, or "pail." With hundreds of entries for all 27 letters of the alphabet, this book must be purchased immediately to avoid the sting of eternal ignorance.

America Again
by Stephen Colbert
As perfect as America is in every single way, America is broken! And we can't exchange it because we're 236 years past the 30-day return window. Luckily, America Again will singlebookedly pull this country back from the brink. Covering subject's ranging from healthcare ("I shudder to think where we'd be without the wide variety of prescription drugs to treat our maladies, such as think-shuddering") to the economy ("Life is giving us lemons, and we're shipping them to the Chinese to make our lemon-flavored leadonade"), Stephen gives America the dose of truth it needs to get back on track.

Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday!
by Penn Jillette
Whether he's contemplating the possibility of life after death, deconstructing popular Christmas carols, or just calling bullsh*t on Donald Trump's apprentice training, Jillette does not fail to shock and delight his readers. And as ever, underneath these rollicking rants lie a deeply personal philosophy and a generous spirit, which find joy and meaning in family, and peace in the simple beauty of the everyday. Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday! is a hysterical affirmation of life's magic from one of the most distinctly perceptive and provocative humorists writing today.